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Opening a small business can lead to great rewards as well as the occasional obstacles. When you are the sole owner and employee, you have clear objectives on how you want the business to operate. Yet the time may come when you begin hiring employees to handle the mounting business operations. Now, you have to trust that your employees will do the quality work that you would personally perform and set the best image about the company.

So when productivity lags, it falls onto your shoulders to get employees back on track. Yet what can you do to better manage your employees? Here are 5 management tips to use on your staff to spur positive productivity.

1. Set clear expectations and obtainable benchmarks

For an employee to achieve the objectives of the business, your policies and goals must be known by everyone. Gather your employees together and tell them about your expectations concerning operations and each individual’s role in the company. Set realistic benchmarks that your employees can strive for as they can keep track of their progress.

2. Obtain leadership training

Not every small business owner is a natural born leader. You, and your management staff, requires comprehensive leadership training from the moment you decide to take on employees. With this training, you will be better prepared to manage employees and lessen staff issues. You can select the training that fits best into your work schedule such as academic programmes, seminars, articles, white papers and online podcasts.

3. Provide constant feedback

Employees will have no idea whether they are meeting or exceeding expectations without constant feedback. While the yearly evaluation can pinpoint good and bad aspects of their work productivity, employees respond positively to recognition of their hard work when the advice is given on a regular basis. They can also respond more efficiently to smaller problems in productivity before these problems become bigger issues.

4. Offer additional resources to employees

Staff issues may not be the fault of the employee. The problem may lie with ineffective equipment or obsolete software that is slowing down their jobs. Sit down with your struggling staff and find out if there are any limitations concerning their jobs. Ask for suggestions on how to make the processes more streamlined and efficient, then evaluate options that fit into the business budget. You may find the answer is as simple as upgrading accounting software or purchasing new tools for the grateful employee.

5. Respect all employees equally

While you may have a favorite employee on staff, or one that makes you want to pull out your hair in frustration occasionally, you need to keep in mind that every worker deserves equal respect from their boss. It can become a balancing act between praise and constructive criticism. Yet if you show the individual respect as well as respect for the role that they play in the company, you can spur their motivation to succeed at their job.

Whether you are a new small business owner or one who is steadily growing your company, you can take the necessary steps and take on board the 5 tips to better manage your staff. There is always something new to learn and improve upon in your leadership techniques. Find the right way to manage your employees as you can create the ideal working environment that is beneficial to your operations.

Don’t forget to check out our free HR Guide.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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